Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Thank You Park Ladies

photo's from our Spend Free Weekend

I've been meeting with a bunch of other mothers at our local park ('The Park Ladies' if you will, i've mentioned them before) ever since they invited me into their inner circle some time around the writing of this desperate post.

It was the first time in my very short parenting 'career' that I'd been fortunate enough to meet with a group of women who were so deeply honest. They didn't brush over times of hardship when telling their stories, instead they each spoke frankly about their experiences. They didn't smile and provide sweet superficial answers to my questions on what their lives as parents were like.

With no expectations and no pretenses they told me their stories, complete with failure and triumph.

Over our months of meeting together they have taught me more about being a parent than I had learnt in the 2.5 years prior. They have taught me the value of allowing my kids some space to learn and make mistakes without their mother hovering about. Through example they have showed me the importance of being prepared - wipes, nappies, snacks, tea cups, tea bags, thermos, toys, sultanas, camera, phone and spare change always at the ready. They encouraged me to re-think the 'first baby, mother to one' ideals (I do believe I heard laughter when I said Zeph couldn't watch TV).  They have loaned me literature (promise i'll return those books ladies) that has changed the way I parent and offered more support than I could have imagined possible.

Mostly, they remind me that I am normal - on the good day's I'm normal and on the bad days I'm normal.


So park mums (you know who you are), THANK YOU will never be enough.

If you'd like to perve on one babe'n park mum, you can visit her blog here.


19 comments:

  1. Sounds like you have found yourself a great group.
    I don't know why but it does take courage to be honest and to acknowledge success and to admit failure...I find that whenever I am brave it always makes me feel better and it often makes the other person feel better too!
    And speaking of literature have you ever read The Red Tent? It isn't about parenting...it is just a great book about women supporting women...one of my favourites.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does take courage- it's a very humbling experience to tell the truth.

      I've not red 'the red tent' but i'll look into it- its SO important that we support one another huh?!

      xo em

      Delete
  2. This is wonderful! It makes such a difference to have real and honest support xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your park ladies sound the best ever .... ENJOY!

    ReplyDelete
  4. How wonderful. I dream of finding a group like this. I love to hear positive stories as apposed to the negative mother's group stories that are so often bandied about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh keep trying until you do. It'll be so worth it. EVen one honest support friend changes the world

      xo em

      Delete
  5. So much love for your park ladies. Mums shouldn't be left to their own devices to much. Its good to have a good village.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh bless those park Mama's, Em. Everyone needs some of that kind of action when they're navigating through Mamahood. I still meet up with some of my mother's group lovelies, the five of us have been through plenty together. And we were literally thrown together in the beginning. Some things are just meant to be.
    Cute as a button photos of Zeph too xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jules. Nothing quite like the sisterhood huh!

      xo em

      Delete
  7. you know, i've never gone for mother's groups or playgroups and never quite put my finger on why. but i think you've nailed it- it's hard to find women/mamas who will be as honest about the crap as they are about the great stuff. lucky you to have such a supportive network :) sarah.

    ReplyDelete
  8. That's lovely, how lucky you are.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Those support systems are so important, I'm so happy you have such a good one! Sometimes what we need is a group of friends to sit and listen while also sharing their own stories.


    The House of Shoes

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am straight up jealous. I have yet to meet this sort of mom-tribe, and if I'm being honest with myself, I'm really longing for one. Know any such mamas in the Boston area? :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have gots to find myself a pack of nice park mums! Although I do find solace in the desperate posts of mum bloggers - helps me put what I'm doing into perspective. A virtual park mum pack? Still... the internet doesn't put the kettle on for me xx

    ReplyDelete
  12. awfully sweet. i want to be a part of that circle!

    ReplyDelete
  13. They sound lovely. I'm part of a pretty supportive mamas group but would love to find me some park mamas. We have an amazing park nearby that we go to most mornings but I think the mamas there are shy like me. We all kind of watch over our kids and smile at each other but that is about it.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em